Terry welcomes tribute to '59ers
Paddy Davitt Norwich hall of famer Terry Allcock yesterday challenged City's latest crop to emulate his 1959 FA Cup heroes. Allcock joined midfielder Sammy Clingan to help unveil the club's retro kit commemorating Norwich's fairytale FA Cup run five decades ago.
Norwich hall of famer Terry Allcock yesterday challenged City's latest crop to emulate his 1959 FA Cup heroes.
Allcock joined midfielder Sammy Clingan to help unveil the club's retro kit commemorating Norwich's fairytale FA Cup run five decades ago. The 72-year-old was a key part of the giant-killing Third Division Canaries side that toppled Manchester United and Tottenham before eventually losing a semi-final replay to Luton.
Norwich plan to wear the special strip for their FA Cup third round bow later this season - colour clash permitting - with Allcock urging Glenn Roeder's men to write their own piece of cup history.
"It's been very disappointing in the last few years," he said. "If a club is not doing so well in the league the only other option is a decent cup run. It's not only from an income point of view but success breeds success and a good run breeds confidence among the players.
"I think this is a marvellous idea that brings back so many memories. It'll be interesting to see what the reaction of the public is. My only hope now is that we don't draw Watford or someone like that so we have to change colour anyway. They'll be a few regrets that I won't be alongside them playing when the game comes around but I'm afraid that hasn't been the case for a number of years now.
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"We had the 40th and now the 50th anniversary. I can't quite believe it. Unfortunately some of my colleagues have now passed on but being one of the younger members it's obviously nice to see the present generation play."
Allcock admits he still finds it hard to believe he is part of City folklore.
"It's amazing," he said. "What people perhaps don't know is it must be some sort of record for the amount of games played because we had four replays along the way and we started in round one. The club was in financial difficulty at the time so that levelled it out for the next era really. But the whole environment around the city was just lifted. You can't really explain it to people who weren't there at the time but if you speak to anyone who was they are all of the same opinion.
"It was immense. The local press was outweighed by the national press who all turned up and moved into the Royal Hotel and I think they lived there for four months. We had a great rapport with them and it was a marvellous period. We had stories on things like spivs coming up from London and the locals throwing the tickets in the river. The coverage was superb."
Allcock revealed the club's historic cup run was almost a non starter.
"We felt Ilford might be one of the easiest games in the first round but it turned out to be one of the hardest we had," he said. "The national focus wasn't really until we beat Manchester United. That was lift off for us. It was the year after the Munich air disaster and I'd lost two of my very close colleagues in that who I'd played schoolboy football with. It was a snow covered pitch that they wouldn't play on nowadays and we won 3-0. It was sell outs all the way after that.
"I remember things like arriving back at Thorpe station by steam engine as it was in those days and having 5,000 and 6,000 waiting to greet us. We were on the luggage being transported across the platform like a superstar."
Allcock plundered 127 goals in 389 appearances for the club after learning his craft in the powerful post-war Bolton team alongside England legend Nat Lofthouse. The Yorkshireman has no hesitation in citing City's FA Cup adventure as his career highlight. "As a team, yes definitely," he said. "But I had many, many enjoyable days in my career. Scoring a hat-trick at Liverpool, scoring seven goals in a week against Newcastle and Manchester City. Lots of superb moments but as a team with the camaraderie and atmosphere that was special. We were a very useful side. Four or five of us had just joined Norwich in the previous nine months from First Division clubs. The Ashmans and Nethercotts had been here for years and had all the experience so the blend was perfect. Everyone enjoyed each other's company."